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Antique Screw Barrel Percussion Pistol- Question and a Mystery?

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by Yankee John, Jan 9, 2008.

  1. Yankee John

    Yankee John Well-Known Member

    Here is one for the experts!

    A friend of my best friend owns the antique screw-barrel pistol shown here. He has owned it for many years and wanted to get more information about it as he now wants to sell it. My best friend calls me about it, sends me some pics, and naturally I do a Google search (As I know next to nothing about this era of percussion pistols).

    The Google search shows me that a virtually identical pistol was sold in an auction house in early 2006. Not a whole lot of information about the pistol and only one pic on the auction website, but from what I see, they are identical.

    Here is where it gets interesting! The location of the auction house at the time of the sale, and the current location/residence of the pistol owned by me friend's friend- Is only 156 miles apart! What are the chances that these two pistols were once a matched pair?

    A Google search on the makers' name "Collumbell" marked on the pistol finds a person named Daniel Collumbell who was significant in firearm production in England in the late 1700's-early 1800's. There are also hallmarks on the silverwork on the pistol.

    Here are pics of the pistol, followed by a link to the auction of the second pistol. Any information that can be provided will be greatly appreciated! Has this pistol been converted from flintlock to percussion? If these are a matched pair, wouldn't it be great if they could be reunited!

    Thanks in advance,

    Pics of my friend's buddys pistol:















    Finally, Here is a link to the auction of an identical pistol in early 2006. Look at Lot #54 (fourth one down from the top):

    http://www.proxibid.com/asp/Catalog.asp?aid=3539&p=3&srch=search this auction&sort=0
  2. DuncanSA

    DuncanSA Well-Known Member

    Sorry, can't help. None of my old percussion sources show anything like this. I see you have already tried Google. A most interesting pistol - please keep us posted on your researches.
  3. Pancho

    Pancho Well-Known Member

    From the looks of the gun it was never a flinter. If I was your friend's friend I'd be contacting that auction house and finding the buyer. If I spent 1K for a piece and had the chance to match it I would be very tempted to spend even more than 1K
  4. Macmac

    Macmac Well-Known Member

    I can't tell you much. Circa apx 1837, and not for much longer. The wood is likey either French and or English walnut. The bore is apx .58 cal.

    These are not dueling pistols, but more selfdefence where you are so close no sights are needed. These may have been a gift to a English Officer, as these were never issued. In that case they idea wasn't defence, but to order paniced military back into line. Real and very personal.

    The furniture has English proof marks of being Sterling Silver.

    Sam Colt didn't wait to long to put this sort of gun out of business.

    ALso I am not convinced this/these were never flinters... There is a lug on the barrel which might have been a place to have secured a lock of the flint type.

    that lug could just be for getting a grip with a spanner as well.

    These are my best guesses... The silver I KNOW
  5. Pancho

    Pancho Well-Known Member

    Macmac, I see that lug now I bet that was , as you said, to use a spanner wrench.
  6. bigbadgun

    bigbadgun Well-Known Member

    :DIll give you a shinny knickel for it.:D
  7. TAB

    TAB Well-Known Member

    I'll bump that up to a dull quarter...

    I have to say that is one cool piece.
  8. DuncanSA

    DuncanSA Well-Known Member

    GOT IT! (I think)
    If you go to http://www.finanandco/April2005-f.htm you will see a pair of very similar pistols which were sold for UK pounds 275 in 2005. They are flintlocks and were apparently made by a silversmith/gunsmith named Jonathan Alleine in London about 1754.

    I don't think your weapon was converted from a flintlock as it is slimmer than those shown by Finan & Co. This was however a time of transition and it is more than likely that later editions of the same pistol were made as percussion weapons rather than flinters.

    Fascinating stuff! if I were you I would make every effort to get hold of the other pistol of what was obviously a matched pair.
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2008
  9. scrat

    scrat Well-Known Member

    the link does not work.

  10. foob

    foob Well-Known Member

    Looks to be originally a flintlock. These type are called queen anne pistols. There's a notch on the top of the lock plate which I surmise would be for the flintlock hammer.
  11. Macmac

    Macmac Well-Known Member

    I kind of regrett stating what i thought and said so fast as I did...

    This type of gun predates caps by a very long time, and I am sort of surprised any might have been made as cap lock from the get go.

    Once caps became common which they did fast, the 6 gun followed pretty dang quick. I'll have to drag out some old books and blow the dust off em.
  12. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

    There was a David Collumbell/Columbell/Cullumbell who apprenticed to Gerrett Johnson in London. He was active during the flintlock period and the screw barrel depicted is percussion fired. It doesn't appear to have been altered from flintlock.
  13. DuncanSA

    DuncanSA Well-Known Member

    Link worked OK last night but doesn't now - strange things computers!
    You can also get there by visiting Finan & Co. home page at finanandco.co.uk. When you get there, open "archived sales" and go to the sale of militaria on 30 April 2005. The pair of pistols appears under item 149.
  14. DrLaw

    DrLaw Well-Known Member

    Looks like a percussion only, never converted from flintlock. The nub on the barrel would be for a barrel wrench.

    My two cents.

    The Doc is out now. :cool:

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